Wk 15 NRV 2021 Holston vs Galax State Semifinal Game

Wk 15 NRV 2021 Holston vs Galax State Semifinal Game 574 382 SWVA High School Sports

Galax stops Holston for the second year
in a row in the state semifinals

Holston High School, Damascus, Va – In a repeat of the state semi match up from last year, the Galax Maroon Tide took on the undefeatedHolston Cavaliers. The Cavs had not forgotten last year’s loss and opened up round two with an electrifying 95 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Holston RB/DB/KR 1 Trent Johnson fielded the deep Galax kick and took it to the house, bringing the jam-packed Holstonstands to their feet. However, the Cavalier celebration was short lived. After holding the Maroon Tide at the line of scrimmage initially, QB/DB 9 Ian Ashworth broke a Cavalier tackle on the Galax sideline and outran everyone for a game tying 76 yard score. Galax Head Coach Shane Allen’s Tide team put up another 30 points in the first half to establish control of the ball game and Holston just couldn’t keep up. Coach Allen was pleased with the result,“This is why we get up every morning and lift and watch film, so we can get to this point.” He went on to compliment the Cavs, “Holston did a heck of a job and they could’ve given up at half time, butit didn’t matter, they fought.” Galax (11-2) will now move on to take on the undefeated Riverheads Gladiators (14-0), again. These two programs met in the finals last year with Riverheads besting the Tide 65-29. Riverheads is looking for their sixth straight state title and are on a 49 game win streak. The last time the Gladiators lost in a state final was to Galax 7-6 in 2015.

Galax QB 9 Ian Ashworth avoids a tackle

Holston KR/RB/DB 1 Trent Johnson takes it back 95 yards to start the game

First Quarter – Two minutes into the first quarter and the game was tied 7-7 with Holston receiving the kick. Johnson fielded the kick and spun his way to the 25 but penalties would push the Cavs back. First, a holding call during the return moved the home team back to the 15 and then another holding penalty pulled back QB 14 Brycen Sheets’s 24-yard rush all the way back to the six. Galax smelled blood and OL/DL 50 Isaac Bartlett and OL/DL 53 Austin Ashworth broke through Holston’s line and pulled Sheets down in the end zone for a safety.

Galax QB 9 Ian Ashworth answers with a TD run of his own

The Maroon Tide now had the lead and the wouldn’t relinquish it for the rest of the contest. Holston’s onside kick failed, and the tide got back to their ground assault. It was combo of RB/DB 7 Javonte Reeves, RB/LB 1 Tedruhn Tucker and Ashworth rotating carries and advancing all the way to Holston’s four. The Cavs stepped up, stopping Tucker twice forcing a turnover on downs. First, it was 52 Dustin Bott and 5 Gage Quina making the play for Holston and then 55 Lane Blevins with a crucial fourth down stop. While Holston now had the ball, they weren’t even close to being out the woods as they were yet again pinned against their own end zone.

It was a full house as far as fans on both sides of the field

Sure enough, disaster struck. A hand-off got lost in translation allowing Galax’s OL/LB 57 Riley Jo Vaught to recover the fumble. One Reeves rush and K/P 2 Alberto Vera PAT later and the Maroon Tide had a 16-7 lead. After another short Johnson kickoff return the Cavs got back to work on offense as the quarter came to close.

Galax LB 57 Riley Jo Vaught tips a pass to himself and returns the interception to the one yard line
Galax DL 53 Austin Ashworth gets one of the Maroon Tide’s four INTs on the day

The Maroon Tide QB 9 Ian Ashworth scores

Second Quarter –  The drive progress from the first, ended up getting Holston nowhere near a second score as luck wasn’t on their side. It was the Tide’s Jo Vaught again only this time with an impressive interception. The Junior tipped the pass to himself and trucked his way 69-yards to the one-yard line where the TD was delayed due to Sheets catching him at the last second. Galax wasted no time and Ashworth was in the end zone one play later, 23-7 Tide. After a failed Galax onside kick, Holston took over on their 36. The Cavs opted for an aerial approach, trusting the ball to Sheets and the Cavalier receivers. For the most part, the pass heavy approach worked. Sheets added 40-yards to his stats, hitting 2 Jordan Ezzell and Johnson each with 15+ yard passes.

Riley Jo Vaught controls the middle on defense for Galax
Galax TE/LB 40 Josiah White makes a big catch

Anything can happen in football and tonight just wasn’t Sheets night. After a solid pass to 12 Landon Sanders, the ball tipped off the sophomore’s hands and fell squarely into Austin Ashworth’s outstretched arms. Galax got back to their onslaught, having one Ashworth to TE/LB 40 Josiah White TD pulled back due to a false start call. It wouldn’t matter, as Ashworth hit WR/DB 33 Kolton Barnes for a 20-yard pass up the Tide sideline to put Galax inside the Cav ten. Ashworth was in again the next play with a six-yard QB sneak. Down by 23, Holston knew they needed to get on the board, so they again opted for an aggressive passing offense. And again, it backfired. This time it was Ian Ashworth with the interception, but no one was catching him on his way to a 50-yard pick six. 37-7 Galax. The Tide tried another onside kick, but the Cavs recovered the ball with enough time for few last second Hail Mary heaves. They fell incomplete, and the half ended

Holston brings down Galax RB 7 Javonte Reeves on a diving tackle

Second Half– Holston came off the break in attack mode completing a gutsy onside kick and taking control 35-yards from the goal line. Throw in a Tide facemask penalty on a Johnson rush along with an offsides penalty the following the play and the Cavs were in scoring territory on the Galax ten. Sheets wasted no time, finding his way to the end zone off a left sweep. The Griffin Hall PAT was good, but Galax was offsides again, forcing a re-kick. As if the Cav’s luck couldn’t get worse, the second attempt failed, 37-13 Galax. The two squads each went three and out on their following possessions before the Tide would score again. It was all Ian Ashworth and WR/DB 3 Mason Cox. On third and 11, Ashworth beamed the junior with a perfect pass up the middle, picking up 32-yards. Two plays later Ashworth found Cox again in the end zone for a 23-yard score. The Vera PAT was good putting the tide up by 31. Both teams traded three and out possessions to round out the third quarter.

Maroon Tide WR/DB 3 Mason Cox makes a big over the shoulder catch

Galax stared off the fourth strong with Cox and Ashworth trading places. Cox hit Ashworth with a crisp 29-yard pass up on the Galax sideline to push the Tide into Cavs territory. Ashworth and Tucker traded carries the rest of the drive, leading to a four-yard Tucker TD raising Galax’s score to 51 points. The two squads again traded three and outs leaving the ball in Holston’s hands for the last drive of the game. After a rough night rushing, both Johnson and Ezzell finally broke free. Johnson picked up 29-yards on a sweep to the left and Ezzell turned on the afterburners for a 61-yard TD on a sweep to the right.

Sophomore RB 1 Tedruhn Tucker bursts through the middle of the line

Cavalier RB 2 Jordan Ezzell finds some yards down the sidelines
Holston QB/DB 14 Brycen Sheets scores for the Cavs

Holston RB 1 Trent Johnson

The Cavs went for two and Quina got the job done with a hard-fought drive up the middle making the score 51-21, the final score. Next week, Galax will take on the undefeated Riverheads Gladiators for a shot at the 1A state championship title. – Graham Whitaker

Rushing: Galax – Ian Ashworth 15/137yds 3TD, Tedruhn Tucker 13/68yds 1TD, Javonte Reeves 11/39 1TD, Brody Robinson 2/(-2)yds
Holston – Jordan Ezzell 5/61yds 1TD, Trent Johnson 4/35yds, Brycen Sheets 10/16yds 1TD, Gage Quina 3/3yds
Passing: Galax – Ian Ashworth 5/9-98yds 1TD 1INT, Mason Cox 1/2-29yds
Holston – Brycen Sheets 10/28-58yds 4INT
Receiving: Galax – Mason Cox 2/55yds 1TD, Ian Ashworth 1/29yds, Josiah White 2/23yds, Kolton Barnes 1/20yds
Holston – Trent Johnson 2/27yds, Jordan Ezzell 3/21yds, Gage Quina 4/7yds, Noah Tweed 1/3yds
Punting: Galax – Mason Cox 3/53avg.
Holston – Lane Blevins 3/36avg.

1st Quarter
    • Holston: Johnson 95-yd kickoff return: Hall PAT 11:47
    • Galax: Ashworth 9-yd rush: Vera PAT 10:12
    • Galax: Safety 8:41
    • Galax: Reeves 6-yd rush: Vera PAT 2:16
2nd Quarter
    • Galax: 1-yd rush: Vera PAT 10:58
    • Galax: Ashworth 6-yd rush: Vera PAT 4:21
    • Galax: Ashworth 50-yd pick six: Vera PAT 1:02
3rd Quarter
    • Holston: Sheets 10-yd rush: PAT failed
    • Galax: Cox 23-yd pass from Ashworth: Vera PAT 5:53
4th Quarter
    • Galax: Tucker 4-yd rush: Vera PAT 7:17
    • Holston: Ezzell 61-yd rush: Quina 2pcon 1:30


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